TAMWORTH has no shortage of people willing to help out the community, but on January 26 one will be named 'Citizen of the Year'.
Meet the residents in the running for the award.
Christine Hunt-Vickers, who has spent 20 years providing care for those with disabilities and mental illness, said her nomination was about more than just her.
"It would be an award for people I care for and an honour badge for people with a mental illness and people with a disability," she said.
Determined to create a safe and supportive space for the LGBQTIA+ youth community, Leoni Allwell has drawn on her own experiences to set up the Tamworth Rainbow and Inclusion Network.
"I thought Tamworth could probably do a little bit better, I'd really hate to see another family feel as isolated as what we felt," Ms Allwell said.
Also hoping to create positive change in this space, Jody Ekert has been nominated for her support of the LGBTQIA+ community, a wide range of volunteer roles and her dedication to putting Tamworth on the map.
After 40 years of coaching, umpiring and mentoring up-and-coming netball and touch football athletes, Peter Lees said he was humbled and flattered to be held in the same regard as the other nominees.
"There's so many people that do a better job than me... Tamworth's just very lucky to have people that do get involved," he said.
Mr Lees is up against Guru Nanak Mission volunteer Prabhjot Singh, who helps people moving to the area find jobs and accommodation and keeps residents fed with free meals.
As well as Jaspreet Singh, who during lockdown took it upon himself to distribute food supplies to vulnerable members of the community and is an avid blood donor and volunteer firefighter.
No stranger to volunteering, Libby Darling has been recognised as a support worker at the Red Cross Blood Bank and her volunteer work with the Dementia Support Group, Meals on Wheels and the Westpac Rescue Helicopter support group.
Nominated for her work on her international award winning short film 'Mungo', Leonie Kelly has been nominated for her role in helping preserve the Gamilaroi culture and history and the local Gamilaraay language.
Dedicated to showing off Tamworth's rich history, Judy Loffel has been nominated for her volunteer work at the Australian Country Music Hall of Fame where she has clocked up more than 25,000 hours of volunteer work while Ian Hobbs has been recognised for his integral work in keeping the Powerstation Museum operating.
While he has worked in the army reserve for the past 20 years in Tamworth, Dr Michael Killen has been nominated for his support for the medical community. Even after his retirement in 2019 Dr Killen has continued to work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and assisted with vaccinations.
The award ceremony will also recognise Tamworth's Young Citizen of the Year, aged between 16 and 25, with three nominees in the running.
Despite the impact of COVID-19 Annalise Tinge has been recognised for competing at the Australian Gymnastics Championships and her dedication to coaching young athletes.
Not letting cerebral palsy limit her, vice captain of Oxley High School and youth councillor Isla Farr is nominated for her support and advocacy for young people with disabilities.
Committed to welcoming new students, helping her school community and as a member of the Creative Performing Arts Council, Padme Hernandez is also nominated for her extensive volunteering.
Those aged under 16 will also be recognised in the Mitchell Brady Encouragement Award.
Abbie Peet, who lives with cerebral palsy and holds three records in the Australian Para Athletic Events, has been nominated for always encouraging others with special needs.
Inspired by an episode of 'Operation Ouch', Reid Wellings has taken it upon himself to ensure his school and enough Automatic External Defibrillators to keep everyone safe.
And Kaida McManus is hoping her commitment to keeping Tamworth clean, raising money for the children's hospital and volunteering as a netball coach and umpire will see her take out the award.
Winners will be announced on January 26, at the Tamworth Town Hall at 11:25am.
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